If you’re in the Portobello area of London this weekend and casting around for a good breakfast, lunch time salad or afternoon cake and a cup of tea, you could do a lot worse than Lowry & Baker at the very north end of Portobello Road.
I took Frances here for brunch last Saturday in return for all the Scrabble-sitting she has been doing lately while I’ve been doing cover-work in an office (very strange after five years as a home worker!) and I can see this becoming a regular haunt of mine.
Lowry & Baker is tiny little place with a very ‘New York’ vibe about it – all low key and quirky with cool, hipster staff that run a tight ship from behind the kitchen counter, serving up perfectly frothed cappuccinos alongside a mix of eggs benedict, chocolate brownies and big salads filled with exciting things like butternut squash, pine nuts and goats cheese.
This artsy one-room cafe is like walking into a cosy private kitchen, and with decorative touches such as hanging coffee cups, shelves of cookery books, mis-matched crockery and colourful posies of flowers (purchased from Floral Studio next door) on each table – as well as a domestic oven in which the home-baked quiches, lemon tarts and savoury muffins piled up on the counter are cooked up on the spot – you quickly feel at home.
Frances and I squeezed into a tiny table at the back and, after a brief gander at the menu – written up in chalk on the blackboard by the window – both plumped for the toasted sourdough with mashed avocado, poached eggs and smoked salmon.
This dish is evidently a house favourite (one hard-working staff member seemed to do little else but de-stone avocado and mash them) and, perfectly executed as it was with such obviously fresh and high quality ingredients (no doubt sourced from the market outside) – I can now call it a personal favourite of mine too. In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back.”
Lowry & Baker
339 Portobello Road